fredag 30 april 2010

55 - Acting out

the roles you play
the lines you deliver
the masks you wear
the moves you make

caring, acting like the mother
reading, acting like the student
working, acting like the teacher
dreaming, acting like the hippie flower
turning off the TV, acting like the lover

the world is a stage
and I am acting out

torsdag 29 april 2010

Theme Thursday: Bicycle

I ride my bike a lot. I love my bike. He is my friend. My bike is a yellow and black mountain bike. Well, I keep telling him he is a mountain bike, but actually I think he might be a city bike wearing a disguise… He looks cool anyhow, and we have been trough a lot together. We have been through hell…, eh, well, maybe not hell, but hail nonetheless. We have been through heavy snow storms. We have been through ice. We have crashed on more than one occasion, due to ice. We have cussed over ice on several occasions. (Now I am talking really bad language here, people.) We have been going downhill, fast. We have been going uphill, not so fast, returning from town having had us a couple of cold ones together with laughter and good friends. We have jumped over bumps together. Jump over bumps, don’t you just love the sound of that? We have jumped into hedges too, and once even a tree. Riding your bike might be environmentally friendly, but still the environment I keep crashing into is not thanking me. Or keep crashing into…, we have had a couple of crashes, my bike and I, no big deal.

I live in Mariestad, which is a small town in the southern part of Sweden. Here it is still common to take your bike to go to work. I think it used to be even more common however... Recently I have noticed people who take their car to go only a couple of blocks. I don’t understand why you would want to do that. Maybe they fear that their hair-dos will get messed up or something. Maybe they are in love with their cars, as symbols of their statuses. Maybe they have their entire trunk full of Very Important And Heavy Objects that would be impossible to transport on a bike. Or maybe they just don’t know how to ride a bike…

The way I see it, when you take your bike to work you get some free exercise. Your mind can focus. Well, your mind can attempt to focus at least (how well you actually manage to focus is up to the mind, I guess). Going by bike you notice things you wouldn’t have seen if you hade been in your car, speeding. You notice the weather, the wind, the seasons changing, what kind of dog your neighbor just got, what time that very same guy seem to buy his morning coffee Every Single Morning, and what kind of flowers actually grow in the park… Riding your bike going to work in the morning you get to hear the music of the small town traffic embrace you as the people around you wake up and start going places. Sleepy small towns are so adorable in the mornings. I ride my bike with my eyes and my ears wide open and with a smile on my face.

onsdag 28 april 2010

Eye candy

There won't be a long post here today. I am not going to dig through my mentally twisted brain trying to answer lifes big questions. No mystery solving today at all, actually. No saving the planet. No ending world hunger, no clean water for everyone. No peace. I am just going to share some of my photos with you. In a random way. 
Some eye candy. Please enjoy.

I am totally swamped with school work at the moment. My teachers are trying figure out which is the best way to kill me. I will have to go back to hitting the books.
Maybe I should be thankful as long as they don't hit me back...


Flowers are my friends.

As my son played tennis my camera found these... balls...
I wish they were mine, so I could play with them...!
But maybe you're not supposed to play with your balls? ;)

 Sometimes I wish I was a bee... :)

Love the colors of yellow and green...

Love the color of the red...

 I hate to repeat myself, but aren't the colors wonderful?
(Hey, listen to me... I must be in love - I even seem to love grey...!)

 If I was a flower, I'd like to be this one...

måndag 26 april 2010

Remember to brush your teeth

You know the situation where you enter expecting the worst and end up … somewhere else...? I took my son to the dentist this morning. I had recently noticed a black spot on one of his teeth. First I figured it was only a strawberry seed or something, only I wasn’t able to get rid of it. I used different kinds of toothbrushes, toothpicks, even a fork, but it was still there. I felt terrible realizing that black spot was probably a cavity… I could feel the pain, the shame, the agony… I could hear the drill drilling… I could taste the funny-tasting taste in my mouth… I could smell the smell… I think you all get the picture. I felt like the worst Mom in history, like the worst Mom ever, allowing my son to get a cavity… I mean, he is only 7 years old!!! Oh, absolute horror… And what would the dentist say? I imagined that the dentist would be a grim looking silver haired man with angry eyes and a moustache… Would he start throwing sharp tools in my direction? Would I be needing a helmet? Should I be bringing a Bible? I imagined how he’d yell at me for not taking better care of my son’s teeth. What kind of terrible person was I!? Didn’t I realize my son was supposed to able to use those teeth For His Entire Life…!? What had I done!? Or rather, what had I not done!?

It was weird, considering my stress, but I started thinking about a joke that actually really stinks, but I might as well put it in here. I am terrible at telling jokes, and I imagine writing them down is probably not one of my strong sides either, but the way this post is going I figure, why not?

A man sits down in the chair at the dentist’s office and the dentist leans over to have a look at his teeth. Suddenly the dentist yells to the nurse: “Hey, come have a look! This must be the largest cavity I have ever seen, I have ever seen, I have ever seen, I have ever seen…”. Now, this makes the patient feel really uncomfortable, so he says (Well at least he tries to, but he has a lot of strange objects in his mouth so it is kind of hard to actually hear what he says… The dentist, however, has had a lot of practice listening to people in the very same situation, so this is what he hears): “OK, so I realize that’s not good news, but you don’t have to say it over and over again, I mean, what’s the point in that?” And the dentist replies: “Oh, I am sorry, but I didn’t. That must’ve been the echo…”

Yeah, I told you that joke wasn’t really any good. With the sound of this echo in my head, however, I put on a smile and my brave face and escort my son into the dentist’s office. He gets to lay down in the funny-looking chair, he gets complimented for being a good boy (and inside my head I go “yeah, he is a good boy, but I’m a bad Mom, a bad Mom, a bad Mom…”), he gets to look at the cool pictures on the ceiling, he gets to play with some of the awesome tools and is, all in all, from the looks of it, having a terrific time laughing and smiling at the nurse. Time to open up and have a look... “Now that’s an interesting looking black spot”, the dentist says… After a little digging in my sons mouth they decide to call in an specialist to have another look. After a little more digging the specialist laughs out loud, showing me the black spot… on the tip of her gloved finger… “Look, this is is some kind of a seed. It might be a strawberry seed... or what do you think?” She smiles when she sees the look on my face. “Here you were, thinking you were a lousy Mom, and as it turns out, you’re really not, huh!?” She winks at me. I am smiling. I am still smiling. I am good. I am a great Mom. And I won’t ever doubt that again… until next time I doubt that.

You kids be good now, and remember to brush your teeth...

fredag 23 april 2010

55 - Red eye

You have never had me
You have never known me
I have met you in other people
But never in myself

I won’t let you get me
I will never open my door for you
I feel sorry for those who did
I admire the ones brave enough
To ask you to leave

Red eye

torsdag 22 april 2010

Theme Thursday: Draft

This week I really felt like participating in Theme Thursday… So on Sunday I went to check out the theme for the week… Draft… Hmmm, I started thinking… I didn’t feel really familiar with this word… It’s not that I didn’t know what it meant, I was just not sure how to use it. Actually, I don’t think it’s a word I ever have used to tell you the truth. (Now, this isn’t my language, I should tell you that, in case there are readers here who don’t know me already…) Anyway, my mind started spinning its way around the word “draft”. I was thinking “cold”, “chill”, “football”, “a writer’s first draft”, “beer”… I was having serious trouble focusing. I wanted very much to write something catchy, scary and chilling. So eventually I did what I usually end up doing when something bugs me enough – I googled it. And I found something kind of interesting. And I also completely stole it, from here.

According to the Urban Dictionary there is something called:

1. Ghost draft

(n.) A draft that a ghost creates using a ghost fan.
Often directed towards victims with mustaches.

"Dude! I totally caught a ghost draft yesterday!!!"

Now, isn’t that interesting? Now off to google what a ghost fan is… (I think I may qualify as one, to tell you the truth…). So until next week (why, yes, I think I might be willing to participate again… and this time maybe actually write something)…

Peace and love/ Jo.

tisdag 20 april 2010

10 things I need to do before I die...

Isn't it kind of scary it is possible to actually have toes this long and still  be... human?

Not that I am planning to go anywhere soon, (by anywhere I mean heaven... or hell…) but I still made this list today with things I really need to do before I die. I wasn’t able to finish it, though. I might need a little help with the last one… Any suggestions?

10 things I need to do before I die

1. Travel to the North of Sweden and do some serious hiking (and remember to bring the bug spray…!)

2. Get a job. As a teacher. (2 ½ more years of school ahead, and then off to spend the rest of my life in… school…)

3. Learn Italian.

4. See Rome. Feel Rome. Touch Rome. Taste Rome. Live Rome.

5. Go back to the US and see Virginia again (Virginia as in the state of Virginia, not Virginia as in an old girlfriend…)

6. Swim in the Dead Sea. (And take a looooong shower afterwards, probably…!)

7. Write a novel. At least one. Get it published. Get rich. (OK, so I don’t have to get rich. But could I please get published? Pretty please?).

8. Me and Mattias randomly travelling Europe for an entire summer. No kids. Just us. (We would be total vagabonds, sleep in our car or under the stars, and just be… alive… Ah…).

9. Become a vegetarian. (I keep telling myself this. I do not WANT to be a meat-eater. But I keep eating meat. What is WRONG with me!?).

10. …

Still trying to figure out number 10… Maybe I am just not ready to let go of this world yet.


måndag 19 april 2010

I don't know much

As I study Nature and sustainable development I realize how little I know about everything. I don’t know anything, really. Scientists have had theories about the universe, about space and time, about this planet for over a thousand years… They have known how to measure the Earth for ages, using Mathematics and Logic. Energy and matter… that is all, folks. How big is Earth? What does Earth weigh? How deep are the oceans? How tall are the mountains? How old is our planet? What are we made of? What is life? How did everything begin? I don’t know. I don’t even know how to find out.

If it was up to me to tell you how it all works, if I hadn’t been socialized into believing the opposite, I would say Earth is flat. I would also say that it is a big world. I would have realized this all on my own if I had, say, climbed a mountain to check out the view for example… I would tell everyone who would listen that there is a Sun, Mother Sun, who circles our world. And that if we are nice to each other she will return the next morning… (Yeah, why not throw a little religion in there?). When it is dark her sister the Moon is up there, watching over us, along with her children, the stars. We need the Sun, as she is the Mother of all that is living. We also need water in order for things to grow. We need to take care of the world where we live. This I would know. I would tell my kids not to wander off to far, as I would probably fear the unknown. I would tell them not to dive too deep when they go swimming since there might be Sea snakes down there, hiding below the surface. I would not want my kids to go down too deep into any pits or caves either – there might very well be monsters down there too… If I hadn’t been so socialized into believing man was in control of things here on Earth, I think I would respect Nature in a far greater way. I know I would.

We are pretty vulnerable. We are tiny, really really tiny. We are also very unimportant. A volcanic eruption on Iceland has been effecting people all over the world for days now… Lots of flights have been cancelled… Oh, absolute horror... Imagine having to miss that connecting flight... People feel the stress of not being able to arrive on time. People are screaming from frustration… They have their very important and busy lives to come home to… People to see, meetings, dead-lines, stress… And here they are, stuck at the airport... But at least they are not covered with lava. Maybe they should be thankful they are not screaming from pain…I am thinking… Maybe we should all be just a little bit more grateful we are living? Maybe we should value life more, value our lives more, value the lives of other people more. Maybe we should consider what is actually important in our lives, and what, in fact, really is not. The fact that we even exist is a miracle. Now, I am not a religious person. But I am starting to feel… awe. I just had to share that with you.

… Wait a minute… I think this post needs a little bit love… So Mattias, here we go… I am quoting a country song here… (Or at least I think it is a country song). I don’t know the title, but then again what else is new? I already told you I don’t know much…

I don’t know much… but I know I love you
...and that might be all I need to know

fredag 16 april 2010

55 - You are welcome!

Usually you show up this time of the year, you bring a few friends and spend some time out in the sun with me. Some people think you are a pain, but I have grown to enjoy you. Last night I noticed you had finally arrived. The new freckles on my nose: You are welcome!

OK. So they are really tiny. You probably can't even see them.
But I can. And they are welcome. :)

onsdag 14 april 2010

Not just numbers

In school I am taking a class right now which is called Nature and sustainable development. This class is about Environmental Studies, Science, Biology, Ecology, Physics, Chemistry, Philosophy, Evolution, well, you name it. Among many other assignments we are supposed to do a survey comparing how long people in general live today, compared to people who lived during the 18th and 19th centuries. Our teachers have told us to search for old tombstones at cemeteries and collect our data there. Our study group were selected to gather information about 100 males who died before the year 1900. Last night I visited a cemetery and started writing down years. The year they were born, and the year they died. Checking the names on the tombstones just to make sure that they were male, then writing the digits down in my notebook. Like a scientist. Well, I suppose that was the plan anyway. 

I did not feel really comfortable doing this however. It is not that I have a problem with cemeteries, I really don't. Actually, I love cemeteries. I find them beautiful and peaceful. I like the idea of people resting forever side by side in the shade beneath huge trees. The reason I felt unconfortable is that I felt they deserved to be more than just numbers. Searching for dead male citizens who died before the year 1900 suddenly made me feel cold. They were actual living people once. People with lives, families, dreams, hopes and fears. It got me thinking. I felt so very humbled by it all, humbled by their prescence. In this survey we are doing all these people will remain only numbers. But I read their names on the tombstones. I read the Bible verses some of them had added on there. I found huge stones, engraved in gold. I saw really tiny ones, where it was now impossible to read the names and years. Some tombstones had little sculptures attached to them. I realized that the wooden crosses that probably once were there too, today no longer exist. They are gone forever. Some of the graves looked well taken care of though, with flowers and candles next to them. Some of the names on the stones seemed familiar, as they were probably relatives to families who still live in the Mariestad area.  

Last night I felt jus like I got to meet men who were dead. I felt I looked them in the eye. And that they looked back at me. To them I was a strange visitor from a strange time. What was my purpose there? Suddenly I didn’t even know myself. What was I really trying to investigate? What was it all about? I felt awkward and almost a little ashamed. Filling my notebook with the years got me thinking. I wanted to know so much more about them. I wanted to know what happened. I wanted to know why the father and the son were buried next to each other with no signs of the mother. I wanted to know who they were. Who they wanted to become. I wanted to know what life was like in Mariestad when they lived here. I wanted them to tell me about their dreams, hopes and fears. Were they really resting in peace? Those who died early, too soon... Why? Were there an accident? Were they sick? Those who lived long, what kept them going? Who did they love? ...And all the information I could take in were the numbers.

I started to think about Death... I started to think about all the graves that no one ever visits anymore. Those that are forgotten. No family left. No relatives. No one who still remembers. To me, that is what  Death is. As long as there is somebody who remembers you, you are still alive. When there is nobody left, all that is "you" are lines, dots and numbers engraved in stone.

Signs of spring...

My daughter is extremely allergic to these... Poor thing...
Don't they look kind of cool, though?

In Swedish these flowers are called "Blåsippor"

Some tulips E got for her birthday



Realizing I need a camera that will allow me to get closer,
I am still going to post this.
This flower is so sweet even when it's out of focus.
Just imagine what it looks like live... :)

måndag 12 april 2010


Can you imagine? I remember it like it was yesterday… Oh my God, I’m old, I’m old, I’m old… Do you remember what it was like? The future was bright, and endless possibilities spread in front of you. Endless paths leading everywhere. Surrounded by friends, school work, social activities, music and crushes on classmates, pop stars and movie stars, you were on the top of the world. And in the same time, you were terrified about those braces you were getting... Scared to death anyone would see that zit you desperately had been trying so hard to hide all morning using a concealer (which was in the wrong shade, by the way). Fourteen…

E… My darling child. Today you turn 14. When I was your age I felt like an adult. I knew everything. I was ready to take on the world. You are my daughter, and we are similar in many ways. Stubborn. Sensitive. Strong. Ambitious. We slam doors a lot. Many are the times that you have yelled at me told me “Mom, please just give it a rest…!”. Now, I know the mess in you room can be described as disgusting just another way of being organized. I have also noticed you generally seem to find what you need when you decide to look for it. Getting in constant fights with your brother, well, that is to be expected. What else are little brothers for, right? Well, you can always use him every once in a while to play SuperMario on your Wii, right...? Thank you, dear God for Nintendo…! When you two get along, you can create those childhood memories together. He looks up to you, you know. He loves you very much. And as for the way I nag at you about getting your homework done…well, what do you expect from a Mom who is a teacher? Of course I will be going at it. And believe me, I will keep going, and going, and going… And I won’t stop. It is because I care. And I know you are getting very good grades. I know you are a good student. I am very proud to know these things about you.

I carried you inside of me for nine months. My back hurt, my feet were swollen, and as for the giving birth thing, well I… You were a part of me, and you are still a part of me. You always will be. I wish there was a way for me to show you all the love I have felt and feel for you. I wish I could paint the picture, dance for you, write the poem or the song, play the melody, sculpt the clay, take the photograph, plant the flower beautiful enough to make you understand how much I love you.

E, I know where you’re at. I know where you’re coming from. I totally understand. I see you. I listen to you go on and on about the events that take place in your life. I hear you, even when you are silent. I am so proud I get to have you. I am so fortunate you are my daughter.

Today I am celebrating the day you were born: April 12 1996.
I love you, E.

Happy birthday!


fredag 9 april 2010

55 - I will follow

It's a small world after all.

Getting to know you.
Starting to love you.

Someone once said:
“Follow no one, lead yourself…”

Now I don’t agree,
following many.

Listening. Living. Loving.
Laughing. Out loud, at times.

Swept away by
the love you share,
the stories you tell,
the beauty you show.

Carry on.
I will follow.

tisdag 6 april 2010

The many faces of a psycho

What is this? Now why would she want to force us to look at a bunch of photos of herself? What is her problem? Why this sudden need for exposure, you might be asking. (...Sudden need for exposure...? Er...) Well. Let's say I am making up for all the posts I never wrote during Easter break. I haven't really been anywhere near this laptop for a couple of days now, and that is due to a massive overdose last week. Overdose on school work, that is. I finally handed in a exam paper where most of my energy had been focused the past weeks and I really needed the break from it all. But now I am back. And I am inviting you all to explore my twisted personality by looking at a few snapshots of my face...

Still hopeful.
(Note there's an engagement ring on that finger. Which has been there since 1995. Just saying. And I am not married yet...)

I could not resist. I had to post this one. This is me.
And this might be the reason I am not married yet... :)
(So sorry if I scared you)

Love. You. All.

Silence is golden.

But who wants to remain silent? Not me.

Oh no. I have said too much.

But it is all good.


Please just delete me.


Trying to look smart. Really really trying.